MONTROSE — The Crescenta Valley 10-11 baseball team did in the District 16 10-11 championship game what it had done all tournament, as it put up plenty of runs and just as many zeros when it was in the field.
In Tuesday’s finale against Burbank, Crescenta Valley’s dominant effort on offense and defense resulted in a mercy-rule call and the squad punching a ticket to the Section 2 Tournament.
“We have a potent offense, and we hit the ball better than anything else,” said Crescenta Valley Coach David Mulcahey after the team’s 15-1 title-clinching win at Montrose Park. “Recently, we have been able to match it with our good defense.”
Crescenta Valley got their 15 runs on 11 hits, while giving up one hit, with Burbank’s one run coming unearned — the first run given up by Crescenta Valley throughout the entire tournament.
Burbank didn’t help itself with costly errors, starting in the first inning. After Jett Costibolo singled home starting pitcher Brian Erickson for the game’s first run, a two-out error allowed Crescenta Valley’s Harry Woo to score and extend the inning.
Crescenta Valley capitalized with three more runs in the inning on a two-run single off the bat of Jaimey Blank and an RBI double from Ty Langford.
“We committed too many errors, and they killed us,” Burbank Coach Gary Valenzuela said.
Before Erickson gave up Burbank’s lone run on a double by Anton Prather that plated Brandon Valenzuela, who reached on an error in the second inning, Erickson pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the first inning where he used up 29 pitches and loaded the bases.
Crescenta Valley put the game away in the third inning with seven runs on run-scoring hits by Lorenzo Respicio, Tyler Cendejas, Scott Vinceri and Kurt McNevin, who had himself a two-hit day with a walk and two runs batted in.
The offense batted around the lineup before Burbank relief pitcher Prather struck out consecutive batters with runners on second and third to stop the bleeding.
Mulcahey used pinch-runners for two of the first three base runners of the inning — Woo and Michael Chung. Respicio singled home Woo to give Crescenta Valley a 6-1 lead. Cendejas’, Vinceri’s and McNevin’s combined three singles in the inning scored six more runs.
Anthony Russo relieved Erickson in the third inning to pitch one perfect inning before watching his offense score three more runs, extending their lead to 15-1 in the fourth. Two of the three runs came unearned. Vinceri picked up his third run batted in of the game with a double, scoring Michael Choi.
Erickson came back into the game for one batter in the fourth inning before giving the ball to Choi to close it out with two strikeouts.
“They’re a great team, and very well coached,” Valenzuela said. “They played very well out there.”
Crescenta Valley will open up the Section 2 Tournament at the El Dorado Little League fields at 5 p.m. Saturday against the District 40 champion.